Each year in mid-August the SGWA presents the annual Forest Festival at Barton Flats, a day for the public to get a taste of the Forest. Volunteers provide camping and fishing tips, puppet shows, and crafts. Smokey Bear provides a warm welcome to all visitors. Forest fest 2018 Flyer
From a Forest Service Press Release issued Saturday 7/14/18:
Officials with San Bernardino National Forest today announced a forest order creating the Valley Fire Closure Area. The forest order, effective Saturday, July 14, 2018, temporarily closes a portion of the San Gorgonio Wilderness to all entry due to hazards presented by the Valley Fire near Forest Falls, CA. The order will last until the fire is declared out or until officials re-evaluate conditions and make modifications.
The closure area includes trails, such as Vivian Creek, Momyer, San Bernardino Peak, Forsee Creek, South Fork and Aspen Grove. It does not affect areas outside the wilderness, such as the Big Falls Trail and the Falls Picnic Area. A map of the closure area is available: valley-fire-closure-map.
Nearly 650 firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service, CAL FIRE, San Bernardino County Fire and other cooperating agencies worked to slow the fire’s spread over the last week, however extremely steep terrain and difficult access have prevented crews from achieving full containment. There are currently 472 personnel assigned to the incident.
Residents and visitors to the area will continue to see smoke for the coming weeks. Hikers with questions about the closure can call the Mill Creek Visitor Center at 909-382-2882, Thursdays through Mondays. To keep updated on the Valley Fire, check Inciweb, the forest service Twitter account and the Valley Fire Updates Facebook group.
Updates as of 7 PM Wednesday 7/11/18:
– 1348 acres, 24% containment
– Highway 38 has reopened in both directions. Please use caution as firefighting aircraft and equipment may be working in the area. Additionally, Caltrans will have intermittent traffic stops to complete storm related rock / debris removal along Highway 38 .
– All hiking trails accessing the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area continue to be closed.
Please consider all existing permits as cancelled until further notice
Further updates as they become available.
Friday July 6 3PM:
Brush fire has erupted near Highway 38 and Valley of the Falls Dr. At 3PM the burn area was estimated to be between 50 and 100 acres and is heading uphill at a fast rate and has a potential to threaten the San Gorgonio Wilderness area.
San Bernardino National Forest Service has issued mandatory evacuations for the trail areas of Momyer and Vivian Creek as well as the day use areas in Forest Falls.
Highway 38 is currently closed between Bryant St (next to Mill Creek Visitor Center) and Angeles Oaks. Accessibility to the mountains will not be possible from Highway 38 until it is reopened.
We will be trying to contact everyone with permits for these areas to advise against trying to enter the area. San Bernardino Peak trail was not included in the evacuation, but we are also advising against entering that area due to the increasing danger at this time.
For both the #ValleyFire and #BoxFire, residents, visitors, commuters, etc can a call the fire information center at (909) 383-5688
UPDATE—-> Friday 7/6: Due to the Valley Fire closures, This event has been cancelled and will be rescheduled.
Join SGWA on July 7 for our monthly Mill Creek Restoration day at Thurman Flats. Smokey Bear will be there for a meet and photo op. Everyone is welcome! Bring sturdy shoes, sunscreen, gloves and a smile – we’ll provide snacks and beverages. Learn about Leave No Trace and help restore Mill Creek to its natural beauty. See you there!
Saturday night, May 26th, kicks off our season of Ranger Talks with Teddi Boston, who was the first woman to solo thru-hike the PCT from north to south. Come hear how & why she decided to take this long hike and the adventures she had along the way.
Then on Sunday night, we’ll have Walter Roth sharing his fascinating insights on how the Native Americans lived off the land.
Talks begin at 7:30 pm at Greyback Amphitheater, on Hwy 38 about 1.5 miles east of Barton Flats Visitor Center.
See the entire schedule here: Ranger Talks
The Barton Flats Visitor Center opens starting Thursday May 24 2018. Visitor Center Hours are:
Thursday – Sunday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Barton Flats Visitor Center is closed Monday – Wednesday
Mill Creek Visitor Center
Mill Creek Summer hours begin on Saturday May 26, 2018
Throughout the Summer season, Mill Creek Visitor Center hours will be:
Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays – 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Saturdays and Sundays – 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Mill Creek Visitor Center is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Camps are getting crowded and filling up. Be sure to plan your trip well in advance, especially if you plan to go on the weekends. If you need help, please call the Mill Creek Visitor Center at 909-382-2882.
The May edition of the SGWA newsletter is now available here. Read about our new mentoring program, some great trail work, and the profile of long-time volunteer Rex Philpot.
Join SGWA volunteers at the Thurman Flats Picnic Area on Saturday May 12, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. for the first clean-up day of the summer. Come and meet Smokey Bear! Everyone is welcome! Bring sturdy shoes, sunscreen, gloves and a smile – we’ll provide snacks and beverages. Learn about Leave No Trace and help restore Mill Creek to its natural beauty. See you there!
SGWA Volunteer season 2018 is now starting! Orientation for new volunteers is May 19, 2018.
SGWA Volunteers work with the USFS to provide many services in and around the San Gorgonio Wilderness. We do trail patrols both day and overnight, trail work projects, and interpretive programs at the Grayback Amphitheater. Many volunteers provide visitor information and assistance at Mill Creek Ranger Station front desk, Barton Flats Visitor Center, and the Big Falls Picnic Area.
Volunteers interact with the public so it’s necessary to have an upbeat personality and be willing to help visitors. We are especially looking for experienced backpackers for overnight patrols.
If you want to learn more about the forest, challenge your hiking skills, or just enjoy nature while helping others then this is for you. Sign up now!
SGWA’s February newsletter is now available at this link. Check out the new native garden at Mill Creek Ranger Station, read about our new SGWA president Mike Roloff, plus more.